Italian Turkey Meatball Sheet Pan Dinner

Italian Turkey Meatball Sheet Pan Dinner made with the most tender turkey meatballs and roasted vegetables for an easy one-pot meal. Italian Turkey Meatball Sheet Pan Dinner These turkey meatballs are seasoned like Italian sausage with fennel seeds, paprika, and red pepper. They’re incredibly light and tender – the tip is adding chicken broth to […]

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Italian Turkey Meatball Sheet Pan Dinner made with the most tender turkey meatballs and roasted vegetables for an easy one-pot meal.

Enjoy this Italian Turkey Meatball Sheet Pan Dinner with the most tender turkey meatballs made from scratch and seasoned vegetables for an easy meal.
Italian Turkey Meatball Sheet Pan Dinner

These turkey meatballs are seasoned like Italian sausage with fennel seeds, paprika, and red pepper. They’re incredibly light and tender – the tip is adding chicken broth to the meat. I roasted them with cauliflower, broccoli, and red bell peppers, but you can use whatever you have on hand. Perfect for meal prep too! For more healthy sheet pan dinner recipes, try my Shrimp and Andouille Sheet Pan Dinner, Sheet Pan Turkey Meatloaf and Broccoli, and Sheet Pan Balsamic-Herb Chicken and Vegetables.

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Easy Vegetarian Minestrone

This easy Vegetarian Minestrone Soup is hearty, chock full of vegetables, budget friendly, meal prep ready, and super flexible!

The post Easy Vegetarian Minestrone appeared first on Budget Bytes.

As we move from colder weather to warmer days, a good soup like Minestrone is a must. This hearty, vegetable-filled soup is warm and soothing, but light enough to not make you feel weighed down as you’re out enjoying these beautiful days. Plus, this Vegetarian Minestrone ticks all of my Budget Bytes boxes: easy, inexpensive, flexible, and meal prep friendly!

Close up overhead shot of vegetarian minestrone in the pot with a ladle

Isn’t All Minestrone Soup Vegetarian?

There are a LOT of interpretations of Minestrone out there, but they often include a Parmesan rind to infuse more umami flavor into the broth. Parmesan is one of the few cheeses that is not considered vegetarian because it contains animal rennet. And since I didn’t have a Parmesan rind on hand, this particular recipe is a vegetarian minestrone. But by all means, if you have a Parmesan rind on hand and aren’t concerned about keeping the soup vegetarian, add it to the soup before it simmers! You won’t be disappointed.

Some people also add a little bit of meat to their Minestrone. Pancetta or bacon are great options (brown in the pot before adding the vegetables) for adding a touch more flavor.

Where’s the Pasta??

Minestrone soup often has some sort of pasta or grain to make the soup extra hearty. Since pasta can get mushy when it swims around in soup for too long, I decided to avoid that issue and just sub some extra beans (chickpeas) to add that extra heartiness without having to deal with soggy pasta.

If you want to add some pasta to your minestrone, just choose any small shaped pasta like ditalini, small shells, or orzo. Add about 1 cup of the uncooked pasta and an extra 2 cups of water to the soup, then boil until the pasta is tender.

What Other Vegetables Can I Add to Minestrone?

My favorite thing about Minestrone is that it is SUPER flexible. If you don’t like one or more of the vegetables in my recipe below, feel free to use one of these instead:

  • Celery
  • Sweet Potato
  • Russet Potato
  • Fennel
  • Turnips
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Butternut Squash
  • Peas
Overhead view of a bowl of vegetarian minestrone with a spoon in the middle
Overhead view of a bowl of vegetarian minestrone with a spoon in the middle

Vegetarian Minestrone

This easy Vegetarian Minestrone Soup is hearty, chock full of vegetables, budget friendly, meal prep ready, and super flexible! 
Total Cost $5.96 recipe / $0.99 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 about 1.5 cups each
Calories 313.55kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 4 carrots $0.32
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste $0.10
  • 1 28oz. can diced tomatoes $1.00
  • 1 15oz. can kidney beans $0.75
  • 1 15oz. can chickpeas $1.00
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning $0.30
  • 4 cups vegetable broth $0.52
  • 1 zucchini (about 1/2 lb.) $0.71
  • 1 cup frozen green beans $0.30
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice $0.06
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley (optional) $0.10

Instructions

  • Dice the onion, mince the garlic, and slice the carrots. Add the olive oil, onion, garlic, and carrots to a large soup pot. Sauté over medium heat until the onions become soft and translucent (about 5 minutes).
  • Add the tomato paste to the pot and continue to sauté for 2-3 minutes more, or until the tomato paste begins to coat the bottom of the pot (do not let it burn).
  • Rinse and drain the kidney beans and chickpeas, and then add them to the pot along with the diced tomatoes (with juices), Italian Seasoning, and vegetable broth. Give everything a good stir, place a lid on top, and allow it to come up to a simmer. Allow the soup to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • While the soup is simmering, slice the zucchini into quarter-rounds. After the soup has simmered for 20 minutes, add the sliced zucchini and frozen green beans (no need to thaw first). Stir and simmer the soup for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the zucchini just begin to soften.
  • Finish the soup by adding lemon juice and chopped parsley. Give it a taste and add extra salt if needed (my soup did not need any extra salt, but it may depending on the type of broth used). Serve hot with crusty bread for dipping!

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 313.55kcal | Carbohydrates: 48.08g | Protein: 14.1g | Fat: 8.55g | Sodium: 1008.55mg | Fiber: 11.32g
Overhead view of a pot full of vegetarian minestrone

How to Make Vegetarian Minestrone – Step by Step Photos

Chopped onion, carrots, and garlic in a soup pot with olive oil

Dice one yellow onion, mince two cloves of garlic, and slice four carrots. Add the onion, garlic, and carrots to a large soup pot with 2 Tbsp olive oil and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent (about 5 minutes).

Tomato paste in the pot with vegetables

Add 2 Tbsp tomato paste to the pot and continue to sauté for 2-3 minutes more, or just until the tomato paste begins to coat the bottom of the pot.

Beans, herbs, tomatoes, and broth added to the soup pot

Rinse and drain one 15oz. can of kidney beans and one 15oz. can of chickpeas. Add the beans to the pot along with one 28oz. can diced tomatoes (with juices), 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning, and 4 cups vegetable broth. Give everything a stir, place a lid on top, and allow it to come up to a simmer. Simmer the soup for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Sliced zucchini on a cutting board

While the soup is simmering, slice one zucchini (about ½ lb.) into quarter-rounds.

Zucchini and green beans added to the soup

Once the soup has simmered for 20 minutes, add the sliced zucchini and 1 cup frozen green beans (no need to thaw first). Stir everything together and let it continue to simmer for 5-10 minutes more, or until the zucchini just begins to soften.

Chopped parsley and lemon juice added to the soup

Finish the soup off with 1 Tbsp lemon juice and about a tablespoon of chopped parsley. Give the soup a taste and add salt if needed. I did not add any extra salt to my soup, but you may need some depending on the salt content of your broth.

Front view of a bowl full of vegetarian minestrone with a spoon lifting a bite

So much vegetable goodness!!

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Cheesy Eggplant Gnocchi Caprese

Cheesy Eggplant Gnocchi Caprese is made with diced eggplant simmered in a garlicky tomato sauce with gnocchi, spinach, melted bites of fresh mozzarella and fresh basil. So good! Eggplant Gnocchi Caprese This Cheesy Eggplant Caprese Gnocchi Skillet is perfection. It’s meatless yet crave-worthy with a healthy helping of vegetables: eggplant, tomato, and spinach. Plus, it […]

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Cheesy Eggplant Gnocchi Caprese is made with diced eggplant simmered in a garlicky tomato sauce with gnocchi, spinach, melted bites of fresh mozzarella and fresh basil. So good!

Cheesy Eggplant Gnocchi Caprese
Eggplant Gnocchi Caprese

This Cheesy Eggplant Caprese Gnocchi Skillet is perfection. It’s meatless yet crave-worthy with a healthy helping of vegetables: eggplant, tomato, and spinach. Plus, it comes together in under 30 minutes. Another favorite gnocchi recipe is this Gnocchi with Grilled Chicken in Roasted Red Pepper Sauce, and for a low-carb version, try my Cauliflower Gnocchi.

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One-Pot Spaghetti Puttanesca

One-Pot Spaghetti Puttanesca is full of big, bold flavors from the anchovies, Kalamata olives, and capers – the trifecta for a winning puttanesca. One-Pot Spaghetti Puttanesca This One-Pot Spaghetti Puttanesca is so delicious and what’s better than a meal made all in one pot for easy cleanup?! Garlic, red pepper, and oregano are also added […]

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One-Pot Spaghetti Puttanesca is full of big, bold flavors from the anchovies, Kalamata olives, and capers – the trifecta for a winning puttanesca.

One-Pot Spaghetti Puttanesca
One-Pot Spaghetti Puttanesca

This One-Pot Spaghetti Puttanesca is so delicious and what’s better than a meal made all in one pot for easy cleanup?! Garlic, red pepper, and oregano are also added to the sauce with the grape tomatoes and spaghetti for an easy and quick dinner. For more one-pot pasta recipes, try my One-Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce and Instant Pot Baked Ziti.

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Creamy Tomato Pasta with Sausage

A few simple add-ins make this Creamy Tomato Pasta with Sausage a level up from your usual weeknight spaghetti dinner.

The post Creamy Tomato Pasta with Sausage appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’m all about making sure the last little odds and ends of ingredients in my fridge or freezer get used up. So this week, instead of making just another batch of plain pasta and red sauce, I jazzed it up with a little leftover heavy cream, the last of a bag of spinach, and some Italian sausage instead of ground beef. Simple swaps and add-ins make this Creamy Tomato Pasta with Sausage a level up from your usual weeknight pasta!

Overhead view of a pan full of Creamy Tomato Pasta with Sausage with a spoon in the side

What’s in the Creamy Tomato Sauce?

This red sauce is basically the same as the sauce for my Baked Ziti, which is super rich and tomatoey. To calm the acidity a bit and make it extra lush, I added a little heavy cream. The addition of the cream is absolutely magic.

Can I Substitute the Heavy Cream?

I sometimes melt a little cream cheese into my pasta sauces, which creates a creamy and tangy finish, so that’s one option (use 2-4 ounces). The other option is to just leave it out and keep it as a basic red sauce. You do not want to use milk or another lower-fat dairy product because the combination of the heat and the acid from the tomatoes will likely cause it to curdle. Another reason why the heavy cream is magic.

Can I Use a Different Pasta?

Absolutely! Since the pasta is cooked separately, unlike one pot pastas, you can use any type or shape of pasta that you like. And you don’t have to worry too much about measuring, just use approximately half of a one pound package.

What Other Vegetables Can I Use?

I think kale would be especially good with this combo, but since it’s quite a bit more sturdy than spinach you’ll want to sauté it in the skillet for a couple of minutes (after the sausage is browned) to soften it up. You could also try tossing in some thawed frozen broccoli florets.

A bowl full of Creamy Tomato Pasta with Sausage with garlic bread and a fork
Pictured with Homemade Garlic Bread.
front view of a bowl full of creamy tomato pasta with sausage, a bit lifted on the fork

Creamy Tomato Pasta with Sausage

A few simple add-ins make this Creamy Tomato Pasta with Sausage a level up from your usual weeknight spaghetti dinner.
Total Cost $5.75 recipe / $1.44 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 542.08kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb. Italian sausage (hot, mild or sweet) $2.25
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste $0.10
  • 1 28oz. can crushed tomatoes $0.85
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning blend $0.10
  • 1/2 cup water $0.00
  • 1/2 lb. pasta* $1.25
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream $0.19
  • 4 oz. fresh spinach $0.85

Instructions

  • Add the Italian sausage to a deep skillet or pot and cook over medium heat, breaking it up into pieces as it cooks. Mince two cloves of garlic, add it to the browned sausage, and sauté for 1 minute more.
  • Next, add the tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and water. Stir to combine and dissolve the browned bits off the bottom of the skillet. Allow the sauce to come to a simmer. Once simmering, place a tilted lid on top (to allow steam to escape while blocking splatter) and turn the heat down to medium-low. Let the sauce simmer, stirring occasionally, while you cook the pasta.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add the pasta and continue to boil until the pasta is tender (7-10 minutes, depending on the variety). Drain the pasta in a colander.
  • After the pasta has cooked and the sauce has simmered a while, stir the heavy cream into the pasta sauce. Add the fresh spinach and stir it into the sauce just until wilted.
  • Finally, add the cooked and drained pasta to the sauce and stir to combine. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

*I used corkscrew pasta, or cavatappi, but you can use any shape you like.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 542.08kcal | Carbohydrates: 61.88g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 23.78g | Sodium: 843.95mg | Fiber: 6.55g
Close up side view of a skillet full of creamy tomato pasta with sausage

How to Make Creamy Tomato Pasta with Sausage – Step by Step Photos

Browned sausage and garlic in the skillet

Add ½ lb. Italian sausage (mild, hot, or sweet) to a deep skillet or pot and cook over medium heat until browned, breaking it up into pieces as you go. Mince two cloves of garlic, add them to the browned sausage and sauté for one minute more.

Tomatoes and herbs added to browned sausage

Add 2 Tbsp tomato paste, one 28oz. can of crushed tomatoes, 1 tsp Italian seasoning, and ½ cup water. Stir to combine and dissolve the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Plate a tilted lid on top (so that steam can escape but it shields splattering sauce) and let the sauce come up to a simmer. Once it reaches a simmer, turn the heat down to medium-low, and let the sauce simmer, stirring occasionally, while you cook the pasta.

Cooked cavatappi pasta in a colander

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add ½ lb. pasta (I used cavatappi) and continue to boil until tender (7-10 minutes). Drain the pasta in a colander.

Cream being stirred into the sauce

After the sauce has simmered a while (the length of time it takes to cook the pasta), stir in ⅓ cup heavy cream. MAGIC!

fresh spinach added to the sauce

Next, add about 4oz. fresh spinach (half of an 8oz. bag) and stir it in until wilted.

drained pasta added to the sauce

Finally, add the cooked and drained pasta to the sauce and stir to combine.

Finished creamy tomato pasta with sausage in the skillet

Done and done!

front view of a bowl full of creamy tomato pasta with sausage, a bit lifted on the fork

I served it with some of my Homemade Garlic Bread because that crispy garlicky goodness is perfect with red sauce!

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Instant Pot Baked Ziti

Instant Pot Baked Ziti is an easy one pot meal made with whole wheat pasta, spinach and cheese. The perfect meatless main dish for the family on busy weeknights! Instant Pot Baked Ziti I’m so excited to share this baked ziti recipe with all of you! I’ve tested this several times and got it just […]

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Instant Pot Baked Ziti is an easy one pot meal made with whole wheat pasta, spinach and cheese. The perfect meatless main dish for the family on busy weeknights!

Instant Pot Baked Ziti
Instant Pot Baked Ziti

I’m so excited to share this baked ziti recipe with all of you! I’ve tested this several times and got it just right! It’s an easy one pot pasta recipe that takes less than 15 minutes to make. I tried this out on my picky husband and he loved it, so did I! More one pot recipes like this you might like Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce or Instant Pot Turkey Meatball and Pasta Soup.

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Drunken Shrimp

Drunken shrimp just got a makeover. Not sure if you can call this drunken since I significantly cut down the wine, but the shrimp aren’t 100% sober either. Drunken Shrimp This Drunken Shrimp is a little less drunk than most recipes – I only use a one-quarter cup of white wine combined with clam juice […]

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Drunken shrimp just got a makeover. Not sure if you can call this drunken since I significantly cut down the wine, but the shrimp aren’t 100% sober either.

Drunken Shrimp with bread
Drunken Shrimp

This Drunken Shrimp is a little less drunk than most recipes – I only use a one-quarter cup of white wine combined with clam juice and fresh lemon. The sauce is so flavorful – definitely serve some crusty bread on the side to soak it up! For some more Italian shrimp recipes, try my Shrimp Fra Diavolo and Shrimp Scampi with Broccoli Orzo.

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Sheet Pan Shrimp Oreganata

Sheet Pan Shrimp Oreganata is made with jumbo shrimp topped with a light breadcrumb and pecorino mixture baked on a sheet pan for a quick and easy dinner. Sheet Pan Shrimp Oreganata Italian Shrimp Oreganata is an easy weeknight meal that cooks in under 12 minutes. Just toss the butterflied shrimp with white wine, salt, […]

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Sheet Pan Shrimp Oreganata is made with jumbo shrimp topped with a light breadcrumb and pecorino mixture baked on a sheet pan for a quick and easy dinner.

Sheet Pan Shrimp Oreganata
Sheet Pan Shrimp Oreganata

Italian Shrimp Oreganata is an easy weeknight meal that cooks in under 12 minutes. Just toss the butterflied shrimp with white wine, salt, and red pepper and place them on a sheet pan topped with the breadcrumb mixture. Bake on a foil-lined sheet pan for about eight minutes and broil for two, so the breadcrumbs get nice and golden. If you make seafood during the Holidays, this dish would make a great addition to you holiday table!

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Pizzelle Cookies

Italian Pizzelle Cookies are light and crisp, made lighter with less butter and sugar for a tasty holiday treat. Also works great with gluten-free flour! Pizzelle Cookies My mom always made these Italian Pizzelle Cookies around the holidays when I was growing up, and my family loves them. I decided to play around with my […]

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Italian Pizzelle Cookies are light and crisp, made lighter with less butter and sugar for a tasty holiday treat. Also works great with gluten-free flour!

Pizzelle Cookies with powdered sugar
Pizzelle Cookies

My mom always made these Italian Pizzelle Cookies around the holidays when I was growing up, and my family loves them. I decided to play around with my mom’s pizzelle cookie recipe to see if I could make them with less butter and sugar. This lighter take on the traditional was delish and my to be honest you can’t tell! For some more light holiday cookies, try my White Chocolate Oatmeal Lace Cookies and Coconut Cookies.

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Angel Hair with Shrimp and Asparagus

Angel Hair with Shrimp and Asparagus is a quick and easy pasta dish made with fresh tomatoes and asparagus in a light tomato broth. Angel Hair with Shrimp and Asparagus This simple weeknight pasta dish is light and delicious! I love pasta and crave it often. To keep it light, I load it up with […]

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Angel Hair with Shrimp and Asparagus is a quick and easy pasta dish made with fresh tomatoes and asparagus in a light tomato broth.

Angel Hair with Shrimp and Asparagus
Angel Hair with Shrimp and Asparagus

This simple weeknight pasta dish is light and delicious! I love pasta and crave it often. To keep it light, I load it up with lean protein such as shrimp and lots of vegetables! Another popular shrimp and pasta dish is this Shrimp Scampi with Broccoli Orzo.

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